Budget Baby

I wrote this on another blog before baby number two was born. I came across it again today and thought I’d share it again, with a few updates.

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Have you seen them yet? All those ridiculously overwhelming lists of “Registry must haves?” Holy smokes…no wonder people move out of apartments and buy houses when they find out a baby is on the way! Yea, I’m talking about those lists that pop up when you sign in to make a baby registry at Target or Babies R Us — those lists are so long! And then there are all the mommy bloggers with equally long lists of “must haves.”

Here’s the deal ladies (and gentlemen) you do not need that much stuff to have a baby. No really, in fact, you don’t NEED much at all. As far as NEEDS go that list is really short.

You NEED:

  • Something for the baby to sleep in (typically a crib)
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Some clothes (not that many — and nothing fancy or expensive)
  • A blanket or two

That’s it. Those are the big NEEDS. Those are the things you really would not want to bring a baby home without. Then there are a few other needs (little letters this time.)

You need:

  • A car seat
  • Burp rags
  • One or two rattles or other toys
  • Baby shampoo/soap and lotion
  • Bottles (even if you are going to nurse, having a bottle on hand is not a terrible idea)

And that covers the little letter needs. See, babies really don’t require THAT much stuff. But then, of course, there are the things that it really helps to have around.

Things that really help:

  • A swing
  • A Boppy or other nursing pillow
  • A stroller
  • Baby bath towels and rags (They really can use yours, but it’s nice to have the smaller/softer ones for Baby)
  • A few additional toys
  • Tummy time mat or play gym
  • Bibs for drool
  • A Rock ‘n Play

And those are the things that really help in the first few months. Later, a high chair will be helpful, as well as child size spoons.

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And now…the stuff I WOULD NOT BUY.

Like I say, those darn lists are sooooo long. And the Mommy bloggers all have opinions (kind of like me! Ha!). It’s really easy to get caught up in that and buy a whole bunch of stuff you won’t really end up using that much. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

Stuff I would NOT buy:

The notorious Pack ‘n Play. Nope, I wouldn’t recommend that one at all. I had one given to me, and after a few months I sold it at a resale shop. Never again.

  • Here’s why I think some moms like them: They make a convenient living room changing station/crib.
  • Here’s why I hated mine: They’re bulky and very hard to take down or set up. If I needed to change baby, I carried her to the nursery. If she needed a nap I used the crib, or put her in the Rock ‘n Play or swing. I needed a play pen that was easy to set up outside and move around when I was working. The Pack ‘n Play, is not that play pen. If you need something portable skip this bulky thing.
  • This time I’m trying: This play pen from Summer Infant. http://www.summerinfant.com/popnplayportableplayard I’m most excited about how light it is.
  • ***Update: This dude is AMAZING! No other play pen compares! It’s light weight, fold easy, sets up easy…the ONLY down side is using it in the wind.

Any fancy high chair. My in-laws wanted to give us the best of the best when it came to high chairs. I was sooo excited when I first set up the one they picked out for us, but then we started using it….

  • Here’s why I think some moms like them: There is a huge trend toward all baby gear matching. High chairs can be purchased to match the car seat, stroller, etc. Or they can be “designer” chairs to look fabulous in your dining area.
  • Here’s why I disliked mine: I used our fancy high chair all the way until Cowgirl moved to a booster seat at the table, so I can’t say I hated the chair. But it did have some pretty major flaws. Most fancy chairs have a washable fabric seat pad; mine did not (thank goodness, or I would have burned that pad instead of washing it 8 million times). A wipe-able plastic seat cushion sounds great in theory, but it still has too many folds, nooks, and crannies for food to hide.
  • This time I’m trying: This Safety 1st seat. http://safety1st.djgusa.com/en/djgusa/safety1st/feeding-boosters/clean—comfy-booster—decor-bo069dec The whole seat is one solid, wipe-able piece of molded plastic. I’m sure I will need some type of support slipped in there when Farmer Boy first starts to eat at about 4 months, but by the time he is feeding himself…yea, buddy. I’m excited about this one.
  • ***Update: Heck yes! Skeet did not need any extra support in this chair, but it did have him sitting pretty straight up, so he couldn’t just comfortably sit there after he ate.

Rolling walker seats. You’ve seen these things. Baby sits in there and shuffles their feet around making it go around the house.

  • Here’s why I think some moms like them: I think these give moms the feeling they are letting their baby safely explore the house. And some of them are pretty cute too.
  • Here’s why I never had one: Two words — Safety Hazard. Steps or stairs pose a huge hazard. But then there are smaller hazards like baby getting too close to a stove or other hot surface. Or baby getting into cabinets or shelves with things he/she might not otherwise be able to reach.
  • What I use instead: A push behind walker works much better. Yes, your child has to be older and stronger before they can use one; but I hardly see how it’s bad to let your child wait until they are strong enough to walk before you send them out walking? Cowgirl LOVED this one. http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/brands/babytoys/products/Musical-Lion-Walker
  • *** Update: turns out these are still fun for big siblings. Be careful that the older child doesn’t try to run off pushing the walker and dragging little one behind.

And there you have the top three items I would never recommend. Bottom line, there is no reason to break the bank when you have a baby. Most of the mumbo-jumbo out there isn’t really that helpful anyway…or it’s helpful life span is so short you can live without it.

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